EPIC Part 6 - The Heart of Jesus

 

In this message you will learn: Jesus' heart os for rescue. 

We are in week 6 of this series on EPIC and this is the back stretch, but there are a few more things we need to talk. But when you look at this series and you look at the tagline for the series it's right up on the screen, “Living Free in God Great Story”. It's kind of easy to come to the conclusion that it's a pretty simple process. All I've got to do is love God and then I live free. That it's this easy, simple, two-step process. I love God and then I live free. If only it were that easy. If only that were true.

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. A lot of us, sitting in this room here today, love God and we loved God for a long long time. And there some of us here and you aren't sure — you’ve got questions and you're just checking it out. That's great, we're glad you're here. But a lot of us in the room today, we love God. We have for a long time. And yet, if we were going to be honest, those words, “alive and free” would really be two of the last words that we would choose to describe our lives as we sit here this morning. 

See for most of us, whether today's our first day in church, or we've been in church our entire lives, for most of us, our life feels much different than that. Living Free — it doesn't feel like that at all. Something is still missing in this thing that we do called life. And yet, we were made for something more. And deep inside there's something in us that knows that.

This is what we've been doing in this series. We've been on this treasure hunt. We've been on this journey together from the beginning of the year to try to find that “something” that is missing in our lives. That “something more” that you and I were created for.

We talked about a lot of things to try to help. 1) The difference between living forgiven and living free. 2) We talked about understanding the context the larger story that we find ourselves living in. What's what we're up against and what's really going on. 3) We talked about the masculine heart and 4) the feminine heart. The desires of those and how they're different. 5) And last week Joseph explored the deep desires that rest deep within our hearts. That's all good stuff. It's necessary stuff on this journey that we're on together. But where does that leave us today?

What do we still have to address in this series? What is it that we need to talk about that we have not talked about yet? That's a great question. Which brings us to today. So just to get our minds going in the right direction again I thought we should start today by watching this.

In the movie, Taken, Kim is the 17 year old daughter of a guy named Brian. She’s the delight of his life. And she tricks him into allowing her to go to Paris with a friend, thinking that some other adults are going to be there with her. And shortly after she gets there, she's kidnapped by some human traffickers. And so the movie, Taken becomes a story of rescue. 

And yeah it's Hollywood. And yeah it's it's fiction. And yeah it's not your story and it's not mine. But when we when we see this story, it stirs something inside us, doesn’t it? All of us say, if we could help Brian Mills rescue his daughter, we would certainly do just that. It is the story of rescue. 

Taken is the story of a father who will stop at nothing to rescue his child. 

And here's the part that we often miss, that is the story of every single one of us that walked in here today. This rescue thing is a big, big deal. And it's a big, big deal in this place that we call Next Level. And that's why I want to spend the rest of our time together today talking about it. 

So let's jump in and do that. Mark 10 

We're going to start with verse 46 read down and then we're going to work our way back up to the to verse 42 and hopefully by the time we get to the end today, things will make a lot more sense. 

46 Then they reached Jericho, and as Jesus and his disciples left town, a large crowd followed him. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) was sitting beside the road. 47 When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

48 “Be quiet!” many of the people yelled at him.

But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

49 When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, “Tell him to come here.”

So they called the blind man. “Cheer up,” they said. “Come on, he’s calling you!”50 Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus.

51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked.

“My Rabbi,” the blind man said, “I want to see!”

52 And Jesus said to him, “Go, for your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road.

So so here is this blind man, Bartimaeus, doing what he does every day of his life. He is sitting along the roadside begging. And just think about his life for just a minute.  Day after day he does the same thing. You have to imagine that after all these years, something has to set in — This is just the way life is going to be for me. 

Resignation sets in. And that's what a lot of us walked in here with today. We know that tomorrow is going to look like today and the next day is going to look like tomorrow and the day after that I'm just going to continue. This is just the way that life is going to be for me. Resignation. There's so much hopelessness. 

And that's the same hopelessness that Bartimaeus finds himself in. But he hears this guy, Jesus, is coming by. Obviously, he's he's heard something about Jesus. And so he calls out to Jesus. Maybe there's a glimmer of hope here, maybe not. But what does he really have to lose. 

And so he calls out. And the people around in the crowd tell him, “be quiet, shut up, he doesn’t want to hear from you.” And he calls out even louder. And Jesus stops and he calls him over. And Bartimaeus’ life will never ever be the same again. 

It's a beautiful moment isn't it. It's a beautiful illustration of something that I think that you and I need to get back to today. And it's pretty simple statement goes like this. 

Jesus' heart is for rescue.

Why didn't Jesus just call this man over say, “Son, we need to deal with your sin issue.” Forgive his sins. Give him eternal life. And send him back to his seat. Why didn't he do that?

While that may be what we consider to be the most important thing for Jesus to do, it's not what Jesus does here. Jesus calls him over and starts a conversation and he leads with this question. What do you want me to do for you? I love that question. 

And this man says what? Forgive my sins, No. Make sure I get to heaven, No.  What he says is, “I want to see.”

You've got to love his heart's desire. And Jesus heals him in this moment. Bam, right there on the spot. And I love that. 

You know why. Because this moment lines up with a moment that we talked about in week one of the series. We talked about another moment in Luke Chapter 4 Jesus goes to his hometown church. He's beginning his ministry and he stands up and he reads from Isaiah 61 he says this is what I came to do. “I came to heal, redeem, restore, reclaim our broken hearts and set captive hearts free.”

Jesus’ heart is for rescue. 

But we have a nagging question or feeling, right? If we're church people, something is bothering us about this. It goes like this. Did he forgive this man's sins? 

Maybe he did, but not in this moment. Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And Jesus doesn't seem to be one bit bothered or offended by the fact that his answer was not forgive me. 

And here's what I'm getting to. I'm getting to this tension. I think that sometimes we feel in the church that we have to somehow, some way, get to this point where we think the only appropriate answer when Jesus asks this question is, “forgive my sins and give me eternal life.” That's the only appropriate answer. 

But just think about it. Do you really think that for people outside the church, that would be the first thing that would pop into their minds if Jesus asked them this question. Of course not. No. That's ridiculous. 

And I think sometimes we miss this. People outside the church care a lot less about the next life than they do the problems and issues and challenges and destruction that's going on in their life today. 

The problems in their marriages. The problems with their kids. The problems with their health. The problems with their addictions. The problems with their finances. That is their focus. And we just need to pause here and be honest with ourselves, it's our focus too. 

The truth is, a lot of us church people, we came in here today and guess what? What's going on in our life right now today is a lot more pressing than the next life. It just is. 

See I don't think it's a mystery why the faith that we have is not very appealing to the world around us. Because here's the deal. We present a Jesus that's not really interested in or concerned about life today. And nothing could be further from the truth. That's a tragedy in all this. Nothing could be further from the truth. 

Jesus cares about your life today, and your stuff, and your struggles, and the junk you walked in here with. He cares about your heart brokenness on this Valentine's Day.

Whether your Valentine walked away or passed away or you've never really had one. If it breaks your heart, here's what you need to understand, it breaks Jesus' heart too. 

He never stops asking the question What do you want me to do for you? What do you want me to do for you? What do you want me to do for you? Now here's the trick, when we tell him that, and he doesn't do what we ask, that does not mean that he's not going to come through for us. 

His heart is for rescue even if the way he comes through is not the way we ask him to do that. Jesus' heart is for rescue. And his desire is to rescue you from more than hell in the next life. He wants to rescue you in this life.

You see, Jesus is here in this room, and he is asking you… What do you want me to do for you? What do you want me address that is going on in your life right now? How can I help you with this addiction? How can I help you with this pain? How can I help you with this loneliness, with this heart brokenness, with this hopelessness, with this cancer? How can I help you with what is going on in your life? 

See, a lot of us in the room, we’ve been saved. But the question is, have we been, and are we continuing to be, rescued by Jesus? Because I'm telling you, there's a big difference.

So what does this heart for rescue, that we say Jesus has, what does that look like? You know it's one thing for me to talk about but it's even better when we get a chance to see it. So watch this.

So in the movie, Chronicles of Narnia, Aslan will stop at nothing to rescue. As we know Aslan goes on to be resurrected and wins the battle against the with and rescues all of Narnia, but it's going to cost him something.

I believe this scene is a peek into what Jesus is describes for James and John and the rest of his disciples. 

42 So Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. 43 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

So, for the moment that we started with today, when Bartimaeus is rescued, comes right on the heels of Jesus saying that. Are you seeing this? Jesus teaches them, this is what it looks like…  and he's shows them by calling for Bartimaeus, and asking him, “What do you want me to do for you?”

And we know we know the rest of the story.

Jesus is showing us that, somehow, some way, we have to learn to shift our focus or our mindset from Saved to Serve. 

We must shift our focus from saved to serve.

Am I saying salvation and evangelizing and all that is not important? Of course I'm not saying that. What I am saying is this, we can get so caught up in the saving and rescuing thing that sometimes we forget that we are called to serve.

Jesus is showing us that the path to saving is serving. The path to rescue is serving. Jesus does his part. And we have our part to do. 

But before you can go on a rescue mission (and all of us haver a desire to rescue people), you need to be rescued first. 

And once you have experience that level of rescue, it is only natural to want to do the same for others.

That’s my story. I was so lost in my religious upbringing and training that I did not know that there was “”life” to be had. In the midst of the darkest, most hopeless time in my life, when my dream had died and there was not getting it back… Jesus came for me.

He asked me, “What do you want me to do for you?” And all I could answer was that I wanted to have my heart back. And that is exactly what he did. He rescued me and brought me to a place of freedom. 

And now, all I want to do is join him in rescuing as many people as I can take part in.

Certainly, some of us in this space need to be rescued from sin and all it has done in our life.

But there are others that have begun that journey, you have accepted Jesus as your savior, but there is still much to be rescued.

 

You need to be rescued from

  • That addiction (alcohol, spending, porn, social media)
  • The pain of that abuse in your past
  • The guilt and shame you still feel
  • The loneliness that you are feeling (marriage break up, someone died)
  • The mundane boredom you are feeling (no adventure, just routine, that job)
  • Your religious upbringing (the dead rituals)

I am not sure what you need to be rescued from, but I do know that Jesus gave up his very life to be able to ask you this question on this day, “What do you want me to do for you?”